March 29, 2018

On Mar. 21, parents and teens came out to learn more about safe online behavior. Over 100 people attended the Family Cyber Safety Night held at Happy Valley Middle School. Special Agent George Chamberlin of the FBI shared current online trends, popular social media applications, and what behaviors parents and teens should report. At the end, there was an open question and answer period for parents and teens.

Throughout the evening, there was open discussion, with teens and parents sharing their experiences, fears, and confusion regarding how to manage internet access in this ever-changing age. The presentation was thought-provoking and hopefully led to many parent/child discussions at home.

Since the presentation, the FBI has shared a store of valuable resources geared toward parents and children to learn more about online safety, cyber crimes, information security, and violence prevention. These links are available on the City’s website at www.happyvalleyor.gov.

If you are just beginning or have a need to evaluate your family’s current Internet use, a family contract might be a good place to start discussions and set expectations with your child. Sample contracts can be found here (www.safekids.com/contract).  Consider customizing your family’s contract based on your child’s needs and personality.

As Special Agent Chamberlin said during the presentation, online safety takes a community. Raising children to be kind, resilient, and savvy to dishonest motivations will go a long way to keeping them safe online.

Our thanks to North Clackamas School District, FBI and Happy Valley Police for their support of this initial discussion. We look forward to offering more online safety forums in the future.